By opening the doors to Childress Vineyards in 2004, NASCAR team owner Richard Childress fulfilled a longtime dream that grew from the days when he first began racing in California and visited wineries with friends. What began as camaraderie and good times soon became an engaging passion for world-class wines, leading to the vision of building a world-class winery of his own.
After looking at options in California and New York, Richard chose farmland in Lexington, NC located less than five miles from his Richard Childress Racing operations. The location situated Childress Vineyards as the gateway to the Yadkin Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), North Carolina’s first federally designated region for grape growing.
Childress Vineyards is one of the most prominent wineries in the state’s re-emerging wine industry that has grown from 21 to more than 100 wineries since the year 2000. Winemaking thrived in North Carolina at the turn of the century; in fact, the Sixth Federal Census showed North Carolina leading all states in wine production until the onset of Prohibition in 1920.
Childress Vineyards features over 70 acres of vineyards and 15 varieties of European Vitis vinifera cultivars at two vineyards sites: Richard’s Hampton Road Estate in Davidson County and Vineyard Crossing at the winery site. The terroir, with its combination of humid climate, long growing season and gravely, red clay soil are the key natural features of Childress Vineyards, producing a broad range of over 30 wines to appeal to both the introductory palate and the seasoned taster.
From the selection of the grapes to the care in winemaking, Childress Vineyards takes meticulous steps to bring world-class wines to the market. Those efforts have paid off in competitions from New York to California in which Childress Vineyards wines have won numerous gold medals since opening in 2004, including Double Gold, Concordance Gold and Best of Show honors for wines produced in every category. Total medal count in the years of operation has exceeded 750, including NC Governor’s Cup awards, acknowledging Childress Vineyards as the premier vintner in the state.
Richard Childress is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Richard Childress Racing (RCR), a 12-time NASCAR championship-winning organization. An independent driver who earned 76 top-10 finishes in 285 races, Childress climbed out of the seat in the 1981 season, handing over the driving duties to the late Dale Earnhardt, Sr. Together, they made NASCAR history, winning 67 races and six Sprint Cup Series championships and established RCR as one of the premier teams in all of motorsports.
Early in his career while racing in California, Richard began visiting numerous wineries. What started as a hobby soon ignited a lifelong passion for world-class wines. Richard fulfilled this passion by opening the doors to Childress Vineyards in 2004. Today, Childress Vineyards serves at the “gateway” to Yadkin Valley, and similar to RCR, Childress Vineyards exceeded Richard’s standard of excellence.
One of the most award-winning winemakers in America today, Mark has received hundreds of medals and his wines have been twice named to the 50 Best Wines of the World. Mark has played a very instrumental role in promoting NC wines since coming on board with Childress. He currently serves as Treasurer of the NC Winegrower’s Association and serves as Vice Chair with the NC Grape Council. Since his arrival in 2003, Mark has won over 750 awards for Childress Vineyards. Accolades include the past 4 Governor’s Cup/Best in Show awards in the NC State Fair Wine Competition, Best Red Wine in The Mid-Atlantic Wine Competition, and Best Red in the Wines of the South Competition.